Getting the Judgment Seat of Christ Wrong
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Sadly, there are some who embrace works-based sanctification, as if the day of judgment were an ominous one for believer and unbeliever, alike, “I know Sally is a believer, but she will have to give an account to the Lord on that day (and by implication, it will not go well for her).”
The error of works-based justification was the crux of the Protestant Reformation. While the Roman Catholic Church doubled-down on the doctrine that one is saved by works, the Reformers presented the biblical truth that one is saved by the grace of God, not by works. Most who retain their appreciation for the Reformation still believe in grace alone for justification.
Far more Protestants err by reverting back to Rome for their understanding of sanctification. The doctrine of sanctification teaches the way a justified believer is set apart and made holy in a process of purification, which extends to the day of one’s death. Synergists believe that regenerated men have it in their sin nature to work their way to holiness.
The inconsistency is apparent, “We will trust God to make us righteous by Himself, but we will trust in ourselves to make us holy.” They will permit God to be their co-pilot or co-laborer in the purifying process. This is nothing less than cringe-worthy.
The truth is that with no condemnation, the purpose in sanctification is for the saint to become what he already is in legal position. The Holy Spirit, who is the sole agent in sanctification, employs the Word of God, to conform the elect, regenerate, believer into the image of Christ, the holy one of Israel. God gets all the glory in sanctification because He does all the work (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
Proponents of works-based sanctification hate the fact that sanctification is by grace alone. The lust for self-justification has moved to a new playground! Self-sanctification means that obedience to the Law has returned to the saint, who must fear the judgment seat of Christ, who is waiting to judge and punish pastor and parishioner alike. This, of course, is heretical false teaching, and it must be confronted.
There is only one judgment day and only one act of judgment on that day. The separation of sheep and goats, wheat and tares, or the children of God and the children of the devil, who will be made manifest to all. The confusion of Dispensationalism, and its multiple judgments at multiple times, must be rejected.
The great white throne of judgment is the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11). The resurrection of the dead will clearly distinguish who has been raised with glorified bodies, to live with the Lord for eternity, and who has been raised for the purpose of judgment, justice, wrath, eternal hell and the lake of fire (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
Those who promote the synergistic error in sanctification, also promote the erroneous view of the judgment seat of Christ. The truth is that the believer was judged entirely at the Cross of Calvary, where Christ endured the just wrath of God against the elect sinner. His substitutionary payment, for the sins of His people, was accepted by God, as demonstrated by His raising Him from the dead.
The day of the Lord must be viewed by unbelievers and false teachers as a day in which they will give an account for their infinite sins. There will be no excuses and no advocate to help in their defense. The day of the Lord will be a great day for true believers, who face no condemnation, but who will give an account of all that Christ Jesus has done in saving them from their sins. This will be their joy at the judgment seat of Christ.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 10, 2021